Friday, April 5, 2013

Virginian Pastor arrested for keeping child pornography, most likely of little girls

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - An attorney representing a Norfolk pastor charged with possession child pornography says his client admitted to authorities to having the images. spoke to Howard Copeland after David Smith's arraignment in Norfolk Thursday morning. Copeland said he wants his client's punishment lessened because Smith needs help and is willing to work with the courts.

"He confessed his sins to God and he is confident that he has been forgiven," Copeland said.

Chris Amos with the Norfolk Police Department said Smith, of Poquoson, agreed to meet with officers at the Police Operations Center Wednesday and was subsequently arrested on 10 charges of possessing child pornography. The arrest was a culmination of an investigation by the department's Computer Crimes Unit. The crimes dated back to December 2011.

Smith is a pastor at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in the 6000 block of Granby Street.

A woman with Trinity Church told church officials would come together Thursday to discuss the matter. The following statement was posted to the church's website:

"Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church and School and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod were stunned to learn that Trinity's pastor, Rev. David Smith, was charged with ten counts of possession of child pornography.

 The church will cooperate completely with authorities and their ongoing investigation. Pastor Smith has been placed on leave pending the investigation and is not allowed to come onto campus.

 Our prayers are with Pastor Smith and his family. During this time of Holy Week, we are reminded of the sacrifice that Christ paid for our sins. It is only through Christ that we are saved from ourselves and the evil that persistently assaults us.

Classes and worship services will continue as scheduled."

David Sorey has been sending his child to summer school at Trinity Church for years.

"For the past five years since our daughter was old enough, we've been sending our girls over to Trinity Lutheran for summer camp," Sorey said. "If there's any remote truth to [the allegations], the entire church would be accountable and we'd find another childcare [provider] for the summer."

Police said there is no indication Smith had any inappropriate contact with children at the church.

According to the church's website , Smith was installed as Trinity's seventh pastor in November 2010.

Smith is due back in court Monday for a bond hearing. He will spend Easter weekend behind bars.

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